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Why is the oil furnace not staying lit?

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Why is the oil furnace...

Why is the oil furnace not staying lit? It will fire up instantly and stay lit for 30 seconds. After pressing the reset it will light up again but won't stay lit.

Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: HVAC
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Answered in 13 minutes by:
4/26/2012
HVAC Technician: Comfort Specialist, HVAC Technician replied 5 years ago
Comfort Specialist
Comfort Specialist, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 1,368
Experience: Master Lic. holder for HVAC & Gas, Contractor, Estimator, Designer, Air Balance Certified, LG Master Commissioner, UNC Cert. holder for Industrial Ventilation
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Hello there! I'm Norman but you can call me Norm. Let's see what I can do to get you some answers today. Can we start by you telling me a little more about your oil furnace, such as the model number, the age, the location, etc.?

JACUSTOMER : It's a mo HTL 100 series 55 about 30yrs in the basement. The vents and the furnace have just been cleaned and vacuumed as well.
Wvfan79 : Wow she's old! I'm fairly certain I will not be able to find information on that baby.
JACUSTOMER: I'm wondering if it would have a heat limit switch on it?
Wvfan79 : Without an exploded service view this may be difficult for me to instruct you. Lets start here. Are you familiar with the flame-rod, if so, does this furnace have one, if so, have you cleaned it? When you reset are you resetting a limit or just the furnace itself? The flame rod senses the consistency and quality of the flame at the burners or pilot.
JACUSTOMER: There two electrodes beside the nozzle, i',m guessing one is a flame sense and the other is the igniter. I think the reset just restarts the furnace. And yes it was cleaned.
Wvfan79 : The flame sensor should look like a steel rod. You can ensure that is clean by using a fine grit sandpaper or steel wool. How did you clean it when you serviced the unit? The question about the heat limit switch is a good one, however most furnaces have a resettable limit near the burner box. Most of the time they are manual. You can check yours to see if it has a manual reset button in the middle. If it is not tripped that is probably not your problem. You can test for voltage on both sides of the switch to be certain when the furnace goes through start up procedure.
JACUSTOMER: It had a lot of soot when I cleaned it. I don't think the furnace had ever been cleaned before. I used a de-greaser and a coarse paper towel on it.
Wvfan79 : Use something a little harsher on it like I recommended above. This may be part of your problem. Have you replaced any oil filters and nozzles?
Wvfan79 : Also are your air filters cleaned.
JACUSTOMER-ebzey0tq- : There is one grey Honeywell box that the T-Stat wires go to with a reset button and another box above it with a cream colored Auto/man. dial on it. The oil filter is new, the air filter about 6mos.
Wvfan79 : I'm not sure how dusty your home is but you may want to consider changing the air filter after 6 months.
JACUSTOMER: The air filter still looked fairly clean.
Wvfan79 :Does your furnace have oil nozzles? You might want to change that filter anyway a lot of times debris is not visible on the exterior of the filter but is trapped inside the fibers.
JACUSTOMER: When it fires up, the flame looks good, How would a new nozzle affect the duration of burn? I have cleaned the orifice and the little filter inside the nozzle as well.
Wvfan79 : It probably wouldn't. How does the flame look? What color is it? Does the base of the flame tend to lift?
JACUSTOMER: It is a strong yellow flame, with a good roar to it, a little louder than before the vents were cleaned. I can't see the start of the flame as there is a ccollar over it leading to the ceramic fire pot.
Wvfan79 : Does the flame ever tend to surge?
JACUSTOMER: No, it lights and stays steady, then cuts out.
Wvfan79 : As for your remark about the flame color the flame of some oil burners may be light yellow in color. More often it should have a blue - white or chrome colored flame. A dark yellow flame is an indication of a lack of air in the mixture. If is the case you may have problems on that end tripping the limit. Adjustments should be made by a professional with the correct tools.

A proper air to fuel ratio is required for a effective flame on an oil burning unit. It will take a combustion analyzer or a smoke tester to make any air adjustment. You can also tell if your burner is not receiving enough air by checking the amount of soot. A low air mixture will produce more soot and will also produce higher levels of dangerous carbon monoxide.

JACUSTOMER: I guess I'll have to phone around to find an old furnace tech. Living on an island does have a few drawbacks. Thanks for your time.
Wvfan79 : You are very welcome. Have I answered all of your questions today?
JACUSTOMER: Yes thanks, ***** ***** of any more.
Comfort Specialist
Comfort Specialist, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 1,368
Experience: Master Lic. holder for HVAC & Gas, Contractor, Estimator, Designer, Air Balance Certified, LG Master Commissioner, UNC Cert. holder for Industrial Ventilation
Verified
Comfort Specialist and 87 other HVAC Specialists are ready to help you
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HVAC Technician: BillyHvac, Journeyman HVAC Tech replied 5 years ago
BillyHvac
BillyHvac, Journeyman HVAC Tech
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 22,888
Experience: Endorsed for unlimited heating, cooling, oil burners, boilers, refrigeration, hydronics
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Hello,You will not have a flame rod. Follow the 2 yellow wires from your reset box...they go to an eye under the transformer. Clean this eye first. If it still faults there are other things we can do.Billy
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Comfort Specialist
Comfort Specialist
Comfort Specialist, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 1,368
1,368 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Master Lic. holder for HVAC & Gas, Contractor, Estimator, Designer, Air Balance Certified, LG Master Commissioner, UNC Cert. holder for Industrial Ventilation

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